The low mobility of older people is due in part to a history of auto-oriented transportation and land use policy decisions. It is well known that land use policies that make it possible to drive less appear to be promising to reduce driving. However, little attention has been paid to the implications of this policy to older people. Using data collected from Northern California in 2003, this study focuses on residential choice and travel choice of the elderly. The results showed that the elderly had stronger preferences for driving-reducing neighborhood attributes, but were less likely to live in a place that met their preferences than younger people. Generally, older people drove less and used alternative modes more than younger people. After controlling for attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics, various elements of neighborhood design are associated with travel behavior. Overall, although neighborhood design has limited effects on reducing driving and promoting transit use, enhancing accessibility tends to be a promising strategy to promote walking trips. More importantly, the enhanced accessibility may have a much larger effect on the elderly than on the younger. Therefore, neighborhood design seems to be important to sustain the accessibility of older people.


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